Council to keep pools open after protests
Published 02/07/2010 | 05:00
DUBLIN City Council (DCC) has bowed to public pressure and has agreed to keep three swimming pools threatened with closure this summer open until the end of the year.
City Manager John Tierney confirmed yesterday that enough savings had been found to keep the pools at Sean McDermott Street, Crumlin and Coolock open for four months.
The pools were due to close at the start of next year to save €1m from the council's budget.
However, intense campaigning and numerous meetings were held over the last month as part of the Save our Swimming Pool (SOS) campaign, which battled against the closures.
The campaigners urged that €600,000 in savings be found to keep the pools open.
As a result, cost-cutting and reduced opening hours will allow them remain open until December. The council is also saving money by delaying the opening of other projects in Poppintree in Ballymun, and Ballybough, inner city.
Bur Mr Tierney told local councillors yesterday that the pools would be under threat again next year as DCC was facing a €15m deficit.
"Any resource shortage not addressed through reduced expenditure will present in 2011 as a first call on resources and funding in that year," he said.
He added that just because the facilities were now open and staffed, the 2010 savings would not be repeated in 2011. Discussions on the 2011 budget will start in September, he said.
But the decision to keep the pools open was welcomed by local councillors. "This funding which we secured allowed councillors the breathing space to find positive solutions to save the pools in the long term, and we are determined to do so in the next estimates process," according to councillor Aodhan O'Riordain.